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President Museveni, please help Mzee James Bizarwenda get his gratuity

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th May 2011 03:00 AM

EDITOR: Something seems to be fundamentally wrong with Uganda's civil service and the sooner it is overhauled the better. The peanut pay that most Ugandans earn is common knowledge and need not be dwelt on here.

EDITOR: Something seems to be fundamentally wrong with Uganda's civil service and the sooner it is overhauled the better. The peanut pay that most Ugandans earn is common knowledge and need not be dwelt on here.

However, the effect of such pay is that while the Government pretends to pay its employees, the employees also pretend to work. That might partly explain the rampant corruption in the civil service.

But I digress. The purpose of this letter is to express my anguish about how an old blind man, James Bizarwenda, worked for the Government of Uganda for 22 years as a telephone operator and was denied his pension and gratuity!

He was blinded on January 15, 1951 on a Royal East African Naval Force ship in Mombasa (New Vision, September 2, 2003). He worked for six years in the internal affairs ministry from 1970 to 1975 in Kampala and for the local government for 16 years in Fort Portal.

He retired on May 27, 1992 and was paid sh11,720 as gratuity for being a "temporary employee" since he had never been confirmed!

Temporary for 22 years? Incredible! Bizarwenda protested and started a protracted 'war' for his pension and gratuity.

In spite of his advanced age and blindness there is no office he has not visited in Kampala in search for justice. Finally, he was confirmed on February 4, 2003.

His pension was acknowledged by the Ministry of Public Service on March 27, 2003 and he gave them his account number—0121063927401 in Centenary Bank and was assured he would soon receive his money.

To this day, the poor old man, now aged 87 years has not received a coin!

Is that how senior citizens ought to be treated? Where is that patriotism we hear so much about? I appeal to President Yoweri Museveni to come to the old man's rescue and help him get his money before he dies.

Bizarwenda and Museveni will inevitably meet face to face on May 8 in St Paul's Cathedral Kabarole because Bizarwenda is the father of the Rev Reuben Kisembo, the bishop-elect of Rwenzori Diocese.

Herbert Kasaija
Kyenjojo


President Museveni, please help Mzee James Bizarwenda get his gratuity

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